Vrindavan, 2017.06.21 (VT): World Yoga Day is celebrated worldwide on June 21st. This year, the Costa Rican ambassador, the Honorable Ms. Mariela Cruz, kicked off the event in Vrindavan with the students of Hanuman Prasad Dhanuka School in Ramanreti.
Ms. Cruz was the Cheif Guest at the event, organized by the school’s President Shri Padmanabh Goswami Maharaj of the Shri Radharaman Temple. Ms. Cruz was accompanied by the Ambassador of Colombia, the Honorable Monica Lanzetta.
Ms. Cruz, herself an advanced practitioner of yoga, addressed the audience of female students and led them in a series of yogic excercises.
World Yoga Day or Antarashtriya Yog Divas (अंतर्राष्ट्रीय योग दिवस) was founded by the United Nations in 2014. It was first proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his speech to the UN General Assembly, during which he said,
Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help in well being. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day.
— Narendra Modi, UN General Assembly
June 21st was selected for World Yoga Day because it coincides with the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year and a spiritually significant day in may world cultures. The celebration has become truly international, with mass yoga sessions being held in countries as diverse as Belgium, China, Afghanistan, South Africa, the USA and the United Arab Emirates.
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